Find and avoid bicycle noises

If a bike catches suddenly from one day to the next for no reason, a screw is not always loose. Cracking noises, which can be badly located when pedaling, are often caused by rubbing together of metal parts, especially aluminum frames.

BOn a bike tour, unusual noises from the bike can be quite annoying in the long term. Often the creaking is irregular, stopping the pedaling, it is usually gone. Many cyclists think spontaneously of the heavily loaded bottom bracket, a broken frame, handlebar or a defective saddle part or to the drive train. It often sounds like a Hollywood swing from the GDR, which is rotting in the rain since 30 years ago. Even experienced screwdrivers sometimes spend days looking for the problem and can not find a reason. But the sound does not occur every day, but only sometimes?

Locate Noise Causal

By a simple trick, you can narrow down the problem: stand up while pedaling and pedaling on. If the creaking noise is gone, it is very likely on the saddle, or rather on the seat post. For even if this had festgeballert years of untouched, makes a working pipe-in ​​tubular aluminum construction suddenly indefinable noises such as crackling, cracking, to the dull squeak.

The reason for clattering sounds when cycling

Creaking seat tube through penetrating water and dirt

Creaking seat tube through water and dirt on the clamping slot

On my old Stevens wheel from 2005, the famous creaking is the first time only after about 10 (!) Years occurred. And after a heavy rain ride. I turned all the saddle bolts tighter, the sound became quieter, but soon came back. I remembered: saddle bars should be greased regularly. What sounds strange for Otto normal screwdriver, since the saddle should indeed clamp as firmly as possible, has a reason: The seat tube is slotted on top so that the saddle clamp can squeeze the frame tube. When driving in the rain (at least without full fenders), small amounts of water run along the saddle tube into the clamp.

Greased seat tube with clear clamping marks

Greased seat tube with clear clamping marks

The clamping of the seat tube produced by their extremely narrow diameter yet an additional capillary action. This distributes the water along with tiny particles of dirt around the saddle post clamp in the unpainted bicycle frame. At some point, the color of the seat post is dissolved and bare aluminum rubs against each other. Alu does not rust, but it forms a dull oxide layer, or with de-icing salts, for example - chemical reactions. Due to the body weight of the cyclist, the seat post moves when kicking in the millimeter range back and forth and The tiny, chemical cocktail is still working with force into the material. At some point this reacts with unsightly noises. Incidentally, the same phenomenon also occurs in folding wheels whose main frame parts are also inserted, clamped or screwed. With my Dahon folding bike, depending on the weather, I had the problem of creaking noises even without water. Tip: A correct assembly paste increases the friction of the pipe clamps. So screws can be tightened with 30% less force. As a result, threads and clamps remain in good condition longer. Fat works as well, but naturally makes the parts slip ...

Small note as always: I do not take responsibility for any of the following tips. Please only screw around on the bike yourself if you are familiar with bicycle repairs!

How do you get rid of the annoying noise while cycling?

Quite simply: mark the seat post with a small line to mark the usual seat height, remove, clean and grease thinly with good grease or even better with mounting paste. Remove the saddle clamp (if possible), and also lubricate very thin inside. Assemble both parts again. Take a test drive and will probably be happy. If necessary, this also works briefly with hand cream or petroleum jelly, sunscreen or similar during a tour.

Seat clamp sealed and unsealed in comparison

Seat clamp sealed and unsealed in comparison

Also, the saddle clamping makes like noise sometimes

Also, the saddle clamping makes like noise sometimes

Carbon frames must never be treated with grease, but require a special carbon assembly paste. Incidentally, greasing works well on steel frames, less because of annoying noises, but because they particularly like to rust from the inside. If the creaking is not over yet, I also recommend loosening the clamping screw of the saddle, disassembling, cleaning and reassembling everything. The clamping points can also be greased very thin in stubborn cases, they are usually mounted dry - but just in any case really clean!

Greased saddle clamp greased

The sealed saddle clamp is also slightly greased

Since I drive often and a lot in rainy weather, the creaking noise occurs but now with beautiful regularity every year on my aluminum donkey. That's why I have to spend a few euros a sealed saddle clamp is provided, which covers the clamping slot with a small rubber and seals the seat tube with a collar on the shaft. Water does not come in so easily. I will report here from the other result, the sealed installation makes a well-thought impression. On older wheels, the plastic saddle top sometimes creaks or creaks quietly in front of the metal frame. Most of the time, the noise disappears by bravely shaking hands from the front or back.

Other places on the bike that like to make sounds

Creak or crack on the bike by steering head bearing or Ahead stem

Clamped Ahead stem with steering head bearing

If the annoying noise can not be eliminated in this way, there are other typical cracking, creaking and grinding spots. This is done according to the trial and error method, that is to say: Starting there, where as little work as possible arises. If the noise comes from the front of the handlebar area, you drive the same strategy:

Handlebar stem makes noises

Mounting screws on the handlebar stem

Cracking or creaking from the front

Loosen the screws of the handlebar clamp, clamp and tighten. Clean handlebar, refit. Even the Ahead stem or the bearing shells of a worn headset can crack. At the steering head bearings helps at least for winter cyclists a lot of fat! Dismantle, clean, grease everything well, or if necessary, immediately insert new bearings and reassemble > see instructions here, Please only do it yourself, if you know the bike by hand, after loosening the Ahead stem, the bearing clearance must be readjusted. Otherwise this is a case for the workshop.

Creaking by loose sprocket on the bike

Bike noises due to loose sprocket

Cracking creaks from below

The flat bolts of the chainrings or the chainring do not only come loose from the pedal crank in chain gears. Check all connections with the Allen key. Assuming the cause here, I recommend disassembling the chainrings, clean them, reassemble them with the correct torque. The pedal bearings are highly stressed components, especially when driving in the rain. Normally you notice a non-intact pedal bearing when turning by hand through too much play, scratching or stiffness - then, you guessed it: Dismantle, clean, re-grease, adjust bearings or replace them with new pedals. Incidentally, they like to be bombproof ex works. Without a suitable pedal wrench disassembly with an Allen key or 15er combination wrench is not completely harmless or impossible. Even more difficult is the search for noise at the bottom bracket. Only at freewheel without chain lying, you can judge something from the outside, except the camp has already game. Then it should already be exchanged for security reasons, here are high forces! You will need special tools again for disassembling the bottom bracket. Almost always a new bottom bracket is mounted in the workshop, in order to make the disassembly cost economically and to exclude this wearing part of the troubleshooting.

Cracking or creaking disc brakes and suspensions

This should also be despite screw locking: The screws of the brake discs or the Center Locks have been solved. Now the brake disc material works on the hubs. Be sure to tighten, otherwise it can be dangerous. Swingarms and cantilever suspensions also tend to make noise when the bearings are dry, dirty or worn. A new grease filling often works wonders here too.

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